Football Concussion Injuries: Who’s Liable?

football concussion injuries

Football fans may have heard about the many legal battles fought against the NFL and NCAA this year and in very recent years. Concussions and other brain injury accidents are very common among athletes, so where did the controversy come from?

Awareness of a progressive degenerative disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) began in the mid-1990s. CTE is caused by repeated blows to the head, such as those that occur in football, boxing and rugby. Symptoms typically appear 8-10 years after the period of head trauma and include:

  • two football teams wearing helmets to protect them from brain injury accidentsmemory loss
  • confusion
  • impaired judgment
  • loss of impulse control
  • aggression
  • depression/suicide
  • anxiety
  • progressive dementia

Since the disease is definitively diagnosed post-mortem, knowledge of its prevalence has unfolded gradually.

In late 2014, researchers with Boston University announced that in autopsies of 79 brains of former NFL players, 76 had tested positive for CTE. As of November 2016, 90 of 94 former NFL players had been diagnosed post-mortem with CTE.

Brain Injury Risks May Have Been Covered Up

a football player tackling another, likely leading to sports related concussionIn 1994, the NFL formed the Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) Committee for the purpose of studying the effects of concussions and sub-concussive injury in NFL players. However, the chair of the committee was admittedly under-qualified and the collected data was discovered to be “deeply flawed“.

The NFL ended a class-action lawsuit brought by 4,500 personal injury claims with a $900 million settlement. Their willingness to settle out of court  for such a high amount has led many to speculate what other incriminating information might have been uncovered in court.

Justice for Brain Injury Accident Victims

There are still numerous lawsuits pending against the NCAA. It’s alleged that schools and conferences have known for years about the harmful long-term effects of sports-related concussions, but concealed the information in order to maintain a high profit. They have been accused of encouraging players to return to the game after suffering concussions.

Though players must typically sign a release acknowledging the dangers of high-contact sports, “waivers of liability and releases don’t relieve a proprietor from liability due to wanton or willful misconduct”, to paraphrase a judge in this article.

football players praying near an ambulance after brain injury accident

Is Your Child at Risk for a Sports-Related Concussion?

Unfortunately, concussions are extremely common with high school athletes who suffer thousands of them every year. Football accounts for 47 percent of all reported high school sports concussions, with ice hockey and soccer following up.

The Center for Disease Control researched and released the young football player wearing helmet to prevent brain injury accidentfollowing concussion-related statistics:

  • 3,800,000 concussions were reported in 2012, double what was reported in 2002
  • 33% of all sports concussions happen at practice
  • 1 in 5 high school athletes will sustain a sports concussion during the season
  • 33% of high school athletes who have a sports concussion report two or more in the same year
  • 4 to 5 million concussions occur annually, with rising numbers among middle school athletes

A concussion is identified when the individual’s mental status changes as a result of trauma (usually a blow to the head). A person who shows signs of mental confusion has likely suffered a concussion. Signs and symptoms of a concussion may include:

  • Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head
  • Confusion or feeling as if in a fog
  • Amnesia surrounding the traumatic event
  • Dizziness or “seeing stars”soccer player lying on field with sports related concussion
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Delayed response to questions
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Appearing dazed
  • Fatigue

When a concussion is suspected, the symptoms should not be ignored. Do not allow your child to return to play until he or she has been medically evaluated by a qualified health care professional.

If you or your child has already suffered from a sports-related injury, it may have been due to negligence on the part of the school, the conference, or the coach. Contact our office for a free consultation with an experienced brain accident lawyer.

Recent Blog Posts

  • person driving at unsafe speeds during covid-19

    Watch Out for Speed-Related Car Accidents: Reckless Driving on the Rise During COVID-19

    With the state-wide stay-at-home order in full effect, our state freeway traffic is reduced significantly. The problem is that many of those who remain on the road are violating California basic speed law. In fact, according to the LA Times, the California Highway Patrol has reported an increase of over 87% in citations for motorists […]

    Read More
  • woman meeting with personal injury lawyer by video call

    How to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer Remotely

    Although we’re all still under the stay-at-home order in California, accidents and personal injury cases are still as prevalent as ever. Unfortunately, just because the world has slowed down and been forced to take a pause doesn’t mean that accidents and injuries have, too. So, what if you’re involved in an accident during the COVID-19 […]

    Read More
  • police officer watching for car accidents

    How to Get a Police Report After a Car Accident

    If you’re involved in a vehicle collision that results in injuries or property damage, a police officer should be on the scene to investigate the accident and file a police report. Accidents can be intense and there tends to be a lot of confusion on the scene, so it’s important to know when and how […]

    Read More
Over $100 Million Collected From Injury Cases. You Can Bank on Frank! (888) 888-0566 Contact Us Today

We'll come to you!

  • Sacramento Office
  • 333 University Avenue, Suite 200
  • Sacramento, CA
  • (916) 756-0772
  • Roseville Office
  • 1544 Eureka Road, Suite 120
  • Roseville, CA
  • (916) 788-1960
  • Oakland Office
  • 1300 Clay St, Suite 600
  • Oakland, CA
  • (510) 962-4610

© 2020 Frank Penney Injury Lawyers, Serving the Areas of Sacramento, Roseville, Fairfield, Modesto, Stockton & Oakland California

Call Now